Cycling Crater Lake, Oregon, from the northern entrance.
Ride 8.4 miles gaining 1,581’ at 3.2% average grade.
This magnificent, albeit modest, climb should be combined with the Crater Lake Loop which takes you clockwise primarily around the rim of Crater. The loop is 35.7 miles gaining 4,236’ along the mountainous and rolling terrain. The longest climb on the route is five miles at 4.6% average grade.
Crater Lake is the state of Oregon’s lone National Park, nestled within the Cascade Mountain Range in southern Oregon. The park was established in 1902 and is the fifth oldest of our national parks (Yellowstone 1872; Yosemite 1890; Sequoia 1890; and Mount Rainier 1899). Crater Lake is the thirtieth most visited national park with 704,512 entrances in 2019, far below #1 Great Smoky Mountain National Park, NC/TN (12,547,743) but well above #64 Gates of the Arctic National Park, AK (10,518).
The centerpiece of the park is the caldera of Crater Lake. A caldera is formed by the emptying of a magma chamber during an eruption; in the case of Crater Lake, that eruption happened about 7,700 years ago when Mount Mazama collapsed and became what we see today. Crater Lake is DEEEEEEEEP. At 1,949 feet, this is the deepest lake in the United States, the second deepest in North America, and number nine in the world! Not only is this gorgeous blue body of water one of the deepest in the world, but it is also one of the most pristine. Scientists and sightseers alike marvel at the deep blue beauty of this lake, fed by rain and snow (Crater Lake National Park).
There’s more to do in the park beyond cycling! Visit Crater Lake Hospitality’s list of hikes in the park to find one that suits your taste and desired level of difficulty. If you want an unforgettable up close experience of the lake, boat is the way to go! Wizard Island, the volcanic cinder cone at the west end of the lake, can only be reached by boat. The National Park Service offers both boat cruises and shuttles to the island, which can be read about in more detail here. The peak of Wizard Island is at 6,933 feet of elevation, which is about 755 feet above the average surface of the lake (Wizard Island).